As part of the “Vleesveecongres 2022“ information days about feed efficiency, profitability, biosecurity, calf rearing and water use in beef cattle a demonstration was held in Belgium on 08/06/2022 and 01/07/2022. These study days were also combined with a farm visit (farms with several fattening animals, suckler cows and calves). In both sessions, the presetation-session and the farm visit, the topic of clean water for beef cattle was discussed and demonstrated.

The demonstration showed the importance of regular analysis of drinking water. Contamination of pipes is a common problem which livestock farmers are sometimes not aware of. The presentation by Ann Cools (Inagro) showed that water quality is important! The cost of a water analysis is around 65 euros. If the water quality is not sufficient, additional costs for disinfection of the pipes or an alternative water source can occur.

From this demonstration comes the recommendation that an annual analysis of drinking water should be the standard. Insufficient water quality, can have a negative impact on the performance of the animals. With suckling animals (such as for making milk from milkpowder), the importance of good drinking water is even more important. Clostridium and calf mortality may be linked to water quality.

This subject is linked to the operational group “Healthy water for Happy Cows”

Belgian Network Manager Dirk Audenart during a presentation

This Demonstration is linked to a good practice from WP animal health and welfare: “Clean water to a small step”. The presentations given on this topic at the  “Vleesveecongres 2022“ are attached to this article for download. (See below.) Screenshots of the cover slides can be found below this text.  

Author: Dirk Audenart, Boerenbond